US pilgrims fly out of Jeddah

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US pilgrims have left Saudi Arabia after this year's Hajj concludes. (SPA)
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US pilgrims have left Saudi Arabia after this year's Hajj concludes. (SPA)
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US pilgrims have left Saudi Arabia after this year's Hajj concludes. (SPA)
Updated 23 August 2019

US pilgrims fly out of Jeddah

JEDDAH: A Miami Air International airline flight left King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah carrying 163 American passengers who had completed the Hajj pilgrimage.

The airline launched its first direct flight to the Kingdom after a halt to services in 1997.

Issam Noor, general manager of King Abdul Aziz International Airport, said that the General Authority of Civil Aviation was keen to provide all possible facilities for the arrival and departure of the US flight.

He said that this will encourage other US carriers to operate flights between the two countries.

“The completion of all necessary procedures for the arrival and departure of the flight confirms the readiness of the airport to receive flights from all over the world,” he said.


Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 30 min 39 sec ago

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.